I personally don’t understand why getting cast on Dancing With The Stars is such a big deal, because I literally do not know one single person who watches it. (Aside from maybe Brett Vergara who always has amazing in-the-moment memes about whatever just happened.) But apparently, it’s a huge deal, or at least it is to Kaitlyn Bristowe. Over the years, one issue I’ve heard her routinely express frustration with is how she was not cast on Dancing With The Stars after her stint as the Bachelorette. It’s pretty common for Bachelor or Bachelorette alums to continue their ABC tenure by going on Dancing With The Stars. Nick Viall competed right after he was the Bachelor, Grocery Store Joe got on after Paradise, Sean Lowe appeared on season 16 of DWTS, Chris Soules was on it pre-felony charge, the list goes on. Kaitlyn has said many times that Mike Fleiss and his cronies (she did not use the word cronies, I did) prevented her from going on Dancing With The Stars, she has not really elaborated that much. Now, though, Kaitlyn has run out of f*cks to give and is dragging Mike Fleiss. Well, not so much dragging as telling it like it is.
Kaitlyn appeared on the most recent episode of the Talkhouse podcast with Nikki Glaser and let it all out about Mike Fleiss. “They won’t let me [go on the show], ever,” she said. “I’ll tell you exactly why I can’t go on Dancing With the Stars. Anybody that listens to this podcast knows why I cannot go on Dancing With the Stars. And it’s because, and I will say this with a mic in my hand and a smile on face, that Mike Fleiss is a piece of sh*t. He is the creator of The Bachelor, and he hates women.”
Kaitlyn further elaborated that the reason Fleiss allowed Hannah Brown to go on the show was, as she suspects, to deflect this exact criticism after Mike Fleiss’s wife accused him of domestic abuse. Back in July, his wife claimed he violently attacked her and demanded she get an abortion after learning she was pregnant. Apparently, the entire assault was caught on security cameras, and a Los Angeles judge granted her a temporary restraining order.
Of the 8 Bachelor or Bachelorette alumni who have appeared on Dancing With The Stars, three (including Hannah Brown) have been women. That’s not actually a bad ratio. However, before Hannah got cast, there had not been a female Bachelor/ette contestant on DWTS since 2009, when Melissa Rycroft competed (though she did compete in the All-Stars season in 2012 and won). Still, even considering Melissa in 2012, that’s seven full years before another woman from the Bachelor franchise. That’s a lot of time, and not really an excuse for it.
Back in 2017, Kaitlyn tweeted that she was offered the contract for DWTS but Mike Fleiss forbid her from doing the show.
Actually I was offered it, had the contract & Mike Fliess told me I wasn’t allowed.He said he didnt want people wanting fame after his show🤔 https://t.co/nSzricohi4
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) February 27, 2017
Then, probably facing heat over this tweet, Fleiss tweeted out of nowhere that he would fully support Kaitlyn doing the show. Which, she pointed out, was completely moot two years after the fact.
Thanks I’ll get right on that opportunity 2 yrs ago. I wonder what changed your mind? 🙄 https://t.co/8QMr8XHsIO
— Kaitlyn Bristowe (@kaitlynbristowe) March 1, 2017
While Mike Fleiss is not listed as an Executive Producer on the show, it’s commonly known that contestants on The Bachelor and The Bachelorette sign pretty strict contracts, and I know from my own personal experience working with them that (if they want to remain in good graces of the franchise and have the possibility of appearing on a spin-off or being cast as a lead in the future) contestants have to get any appearances, interviews, etc. pre-approved. And if you are a lead (as Kaitlyn was) ABC has an exclusivity clause and gets to determine what appearances they can or cannot do after the show. So, could Mike Fleiss prevent Kaitlyn from doing Dancing With The Stars? Yes, absolutely. Did he? Almost certainly.
As for the claim that Mike Fleiss hates women, that is not at all a stretch. In public and especially in private, he is not exactly a champion of women. Don’t worry, that’s me putting it lightly! The alleged assault against his pregnant wife is obviously a huge piece of that puzzle, but his treatment towards his leads and the women on his show don’t paint a better picture for him, either. That’s because The Bachelorette does not have a history of supporting its female leads. The show cast a probably known racist to compete on Rachel Lindsay, the first black Bachelorette’s, season. They put Becca in a pool with a convicted sex offender, and also a guy who (denied at first but eventually admitted he) had a history of sexually harassing women. They put Jojo and everyone on Paradise the following season with the human ticking time bomb that is Chad Johnson. Do you see where I’m going with this? The Bachelorette and Mike Fleiss by extension, since this is his show, repeatedly put the women on the show into vulnerable positions. Then, when you consider what he does in his private life, this is not exactly shocking or revelatory. If it’s not bad enough that you have someone who disregards the safety and security of his female leads, on top of that, you have someone who allegedly endangers the life of his own spouse.
So yeah. I’m firmly Team Kaitlyn on this one. I have no trouble believing there is a gender bias at play in his keeping her from competing on DWTS, and Mike Fleiss hates women. Will ABC do anything about it? Ha. Hahahahahahahaha. No f*cking way.
Images: kaitlynbristowe / Twitter